Monthly Archives: May 2017

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Rebuilding Together Day, Year 12: Bringing the Community Together

At French Gerleman, we enjoy giving back to the communities we serve. In St. Louis, we are passionate about Rebuilding Together and are proud that so many employees and vendors were willing to donate their time, money and products to help others in the community. This was our 12th year participating in Rebuilding Together Day, and this year was extra special as we experienced some challenges that put our team to the test.

In February, we were assigned our home and we assembled our team. Bob Anderson stepped up to be our House Captain this year, and Vickie Katashuk returned as our Volunteer Coordinator for the seventh year.

When we met with Rebuilding Together about our assigned home, they detailed the home’s issues that needed attention to make it more livable and secure. After our initial meeting with the Rebuilding Together team, we had a couple months to meet with the homeowner and tour her house to confirm the projects that we would take on and begin compiling the items needed.

The homeowner we partnered with this year was Miss Joyce Johnson-Seddens, a lovely, kind woman in her 60s who lives in north St. Louis. When you meet Joyce, you can’t help but love her. We had originally outlined this project to cover fixing her AC unit, painting the exterior of her home, updating her yard and retaining wall and various minor repairs around the house. After touring the home and talking to Miss Joyce about what would help make her home more livable and functional for HER, we decided we needed to add a few projects to our list! That list included:

  • New AC unit
  • Exterior paint
  • New retaining wall
  • Yard work/clean up
  • Fix fencing in yard
  • Safety measures – fix railings in basement and front stairs
  • Replace glass panel doors with security doors
  • Post repair
  • Install new LED lighting throughout the house
  • Install gutter guards
  • New crawl space doors
  • Cleaned the house
  • New garbage disposal

The funding from Rebuilding Together was tight this year, so we knew we needed to work hard to stay in budget or get items donated. We only had a budget of $1,000 from Rebuilding Together, so we knew we needed to solicit additional donations. Between employees, vendors and customers, we pulled together more than $3,000 in donations (monetary and materials) for the project!

It’s amazing to see our community come together to help someone in need. We called Vogel AC to help us fix Miss Joyce’s AC unit that had not been functioning for quite some time. Vogel was kind enough to donate and install a brand new AC unit, going above and beyond our expectations. This is something Joyce desperately needed for the hot St. Louis summer days.

The LED lighting that we installed throughout the house was provided by Philips and Lithonia Lighting. Not only does the new lighting help improve the overall appearance of her home, but the technology will save her hundreds of dollars on energy bills! When Miss Joyce found out how much money she would be saving, her face lit up and she was thrilled. It’s moments like that, when you see the homeowner get emotional, that makes all of our team’s hard work worth it.

We also had a plumber at the house doing some minor repairs and he saw that her garbage disposal was not working. He happened to have one in his truck and he gave it to her! The kindness we experienced throughout this process is truly overwhelming and we feel incredibly lucky.

Rebuilding Day might just be one day, but because of the scope of the project and our desire to provide the best experience for Miss Joyce, we had volunteers at the home throughout the week leading up to the Day and many days following to ensure we completed each task. In total, we had 24 volunteers who came out to join us at Rebuilding Day, ranging from French Gerleman employees, families, friends and even customers from Lange Tech. Some of our volunteers had to battle the flooding to make it out to help, which we thought would be a setback, but they braved the elements! One of our volunteers had a flooded basement at his house, but he joined us because he felt like it was his commitment and where he needed to be.

“Rebuilding Together Day can be stressful,” said Bob.  “We’re worried about getting all of our projects completed, we sometimes experience setbacks and the work is hard, physically and emotionally. But at the end of the day, you forget about the stress, the pain and the long hours when you see the look on the homeowner’s face, the emotion and pure joy they experience when they see their ‘new’ home.”

When we asked Vickie what brings her back to Rebuilding Together, year after year, she said, “You replace that person’s face with a family member’s face, someone you love. You would take care of your family and do anything to ensure that they are safe, secure and comfortable. That’s exactly what we do for these people. We love these people and will take care of them like they are our family, just like we hope someone would do for our family members if they were in need.”

A big thank you to our wonderful volunteers, employees, vendors and customers who supported our team through this process and Rebuilding Together.  Without all of you, it wouldn’t be possible to raise the donations we did or to accomplish all the projects we did for Miss Joyce.

And a special thank you to Bob and Vickie for their selfless, hard work and dedication to Rebuilding Together. They went above and beyond to make sure Miss Joyce’s house was safe, secure and that the remodel made an impact on her life.

Are you or your business looking for a great organization to support? Rebuilding Together is a wonderful organization who could use some help, both monetary donations and volunteers are greatly appreciated. Be sure to visit http://www.rebuildingtogether-stl.org/ to learn more.


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The New OSHA 1910 Regulations — What do they mean for you?

You may have heard by now that OSHA has updated its 1910 General Industry regulations regarding walking-working surfaces and personal protective equipment. These new regulations went into effect on January 17, 2017. What are the changes and what do they mean for you? It can seem a bit overwhelming as there are many changes in the regulations (which is a 513-page update), so our friends over at Guardian Fall Protection pulled together a list of the most impactful updates and what they mean for you. You can check out Part 1 of their guide HERE and Part 2 HERE.

One of the most wide-ranging change is the addition of personal fall protection systems and safety nets as an option for protecting workers from falls. By expanding the standards to allow more options to protect the worker, OSHA will allow employers and workers to use the system that they feel will protect them the best and is most suitable for the specific situation.

With the new regulations, training is huge. Workers will be even more knowledgeable about fall protection hazard identification and mitigation with new training standards.

Another big change affects fixed ladders. All existing ladders taller than 24′ must have a cage, well, ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system in place by November 19, 2018. There are a lot of changes when it comes to ladders, so be sure to stay ahead of the game and check out the changes HERE.

Rope descent systems and anchorages are also addressed in the new regulations. OSHA now requires that before use, “the building owner must inform the employer, in writing, that the building owner has identified, tested, certified, and maintained each anchorage so it is capable of supporting 5,000 pounds in any direction.” Somewhere around 487,500 buildings will require annual inspections and decennial certification. Make sure your anchorages have been inspected and certified!

This is just a small snapshot of the OSHA changes, be sure to check out Guardian’s breakdown of new regulations. If you have any questions, give your account manager a call!


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IDEAL National Championship: This is How Electrician’s Become Legends

Do you have the power to be the best electrician in the nation? Now is your chance to see if you have what it takes!

IDEAL Electrical, a leading tool and electrical supply company based in Sycamore, IL, is once again hosting the IDEAL National Championship to honor and showcase abilities of electricians as well as award more than $500,000 in cash and prizes.

The IDEAL National Championship features several categories for competition: Individual-Professional, Individual-Student/Apprentice, Team- Professional, and Team- Student/Apprentice.

The Qualifying Round challenge requires competitors to demonstrate both mental problem-solving and physical skills across five categories: pulling wire, cutting stripping, terminating and testing on a preassembled electrical platform. Does this sound like something you could master? Time to sign up!

We are excited to host local Qualifying Round events at several of our upcoming Customer Appreciation Days! Mark your calendars:

  • Louis, MO – Thursday, June 15, 11 a.m. to 1p.m.
  • Quincy, IL – Wednesday, June 21, 11 a.m. to 1p.m.
  • Washington, MO – Wednesday, September 13, 11 a.m. to 1p.m.
  • Columbia, MO – Friday, September 15, 11 a.m. to 1p.m.

If you are interested in competing, go to IDEALnationals.com to register and search for your local Qualifying Round event. We can’t wait to have all the legends-in-the-making compete at our Customer Appreciation Days!


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Reduce Downtime with HydroDuty Washdown Motors

Introducing the best stainless steel washdown motors in the industry: the HydroDuty from Bluffton Motor Works WEG Group! Designed and manufactured in Bluffton, Indiana, the HydroDuty is designed for dependable operation in harsh, high moisture environments. Typical applications for this motor line include food and beverage processing, car washes, pharmaceuticals and marine applications.

Electrical Specifications

  • Three phase design
  • 2, 4 and 6 pole motors (3450,1725, and 1140 RPM)
  • 208-230/460 volt
  • Continuous duty
  • Insulation system Class F inverter duty
  • Encapsulated windings
  • 60/50 & 60 HZ
  • IP66 Rated
  • 0 & 1.15 service factors

Mechanical Specifications

  • Frame types: face mounted NEMA 56C face, 143TC, 145TC, 182TC and 184TC
  • Rigid or no base
  • TEFC or TENV construction
  • Double-sealed ball bearings
  • Stainless steel shaft

The HydroDuty features an industry-leading warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship, AND includes water intrusion! If water enters the motor and causes it to fail, the motor will be covered under warranty. This warranty makes this product unique –  Bluffton will guarantee that the motor won’t fail because of water ingression inside the motor.

The bearing system in a washdown application is typically the first thing to fail because of the high-pressure spraying the motor endures. The HydroDuty features a triple seal system with an external stainless steel slinger that helps deflect the water from getting past it. Behind that is a check seal that flattens when the motor starts up to keep the water from getting past that section of the motor. Inside of that section there is a third portion of protection – a Viton oil seal that fits against the sealed bearing. With this design, Bluffton provides excellent protection of the bearings, both from the front and rear.

Another key feature of this motor is its full winding encapsulation which prevents water from getting to the electrical system. It also makes the motor inverter duty. The windings are 100% protected with this insulation system. Its SprayGuard encapsulation provides superior protection from water, chemicals and condensation.

The HydroDuty motor includes O-rings on both end shields. This prevents any water that might get past the end shields from entering the frame. The center cavities of the end shields drain diverting moisture away from the bearings. The O-rings have an expanded shell on both ends providing a greater surface area to prevent moisture entry. The press fit end bells, with water blocking O-ring, ensures NO moisture intrusion.

In typical industry conduit boxes, the lead entry hole is a weak point in preventing moisture ingress into a motor. Not with HydroDuty! Their epoxy encapsulated conduit box is completely sealed. This prevents moisture intrusion through the power lead entry.

The HydroDuty also features a waterproof splice kit to keeps connections dry. Its the technology used in submersible pumps. The waterproof splice kit must be installed for warranty to be valid.

The final key feature is the patented Gortex breather vent. The breather vent is press fit into the end shield and allows air to be exchanged internally to the motor. This prevents oil and water contamination inside the motor.

The superior sealing system and encapsulated windings  the HydroDuty provides will help reduce, or eliminate, the two primary causes of all motor failures. This ensures optimal motor performance and decreases unnecessary downtime, which improves profit.

Try HydroDuty motors in your most challenging washdown environment applications. Because it is built for the toughest environments, you should see a decrease in your unnecessary downtime thus increasing production and plant efficiency. Contact your French Gerleman Account Manager to learn more about this industry leading washdown motor.